A few months ago I was creating a page on my website and happened to look up and noticed I had over 100 pages on my website. I had to look twice because I thought to myself, “Lynn you know you don’t use that many pages on your website. What is all of that?” I must confess; I had gotten lazy. Before I finished creating the new page, I made myself stop and look to see what the pages were.
Time to Get Cleaning!
The first thing I did was to sort the pages by date with the oldest first. Not quite sure how to do that?
At the top of the list view for your pages, you will see a date. Click on it and it will allow you to view your pages based on the oldest published date. You can toggle back and forth to go from ascending to descending dates.
I did a quick scan to look at the page titles. I hate to say it, but some of these pages were four and five years old! If I didn’t know what the page was by the title, it was deleted. I continued to do this until I got through all six pages. That got me down to four pages!
I followed the same steps, but this time I sorted through page titles. This got me down to five pages. That meant with the five pages remaining, I was going to have to view the pages one by one to see if I really needed it or not. I’m sure as you probably guessed, most of those pages I didn’t even need!
How to keep from having tons of pages on your website you don’t need
When you need a page or THINK you need a page what do you do? Of course, just create it, right? Do you really need that page? When your website was first created, you were probably more mindful of the pages you created and why you were creating them. Now time has gone by and you just don’t give it much thought anymore.
Putting some thought into the pages you create on your website before you do so is going to provide many benefits:
- You don’t have several pages on your website that you don’t need which makes it easier for you to find something quickly when you need it.
- You aren’t sharing information with your website visitors for no real reason other than you thought it might be a good idea.
- You can stay focused on making sure the pages you create are of value and are aligned with your brand.
Just because you have a website full of pages doesn’t mean you are really providing value or that you are giving your website visitors what they need and want. It may just mean you have a lot of pages on your website.
What to think about when you are adding pages to your website
Below are questions to ask yourself when creating pages for your website.
- Page Purpose: What information does your website visitor need to know? Pages are for static content so these are pages you won’t change frequently. Does that page you are about to create really provide information to help your website visitors know what you do and who you do it for?
- CTA: Once someone is on this page, what action do you want them to take? Is it to sign up for your list? Is it to schedule a consultation? Don’t confuse your visitors with a lot of CTAs. One, two per page at the most is sufficient. You don’t want to confuse them! Never make the mistake of thinking people will know what you want them to do.
- Page Type: There are several types of pages you can have on your website; all of which serve different purposes. Once you determine your page’s purpose, it will be easier to know which page type you need.
- Page Importance: How important is the page you are creating? Is it so important that it needs prime website real estate such as your homepage or navigation? Or, can it be a hidden page? A page that you arrive on from another page. In other words, if you aren’t on page C, you’ll never know page H exists because Page C has a link to page H on it.
The right way to get rid of those pages
If you’ve found some pages that need to go, don’t just go hitting the delete button. If you’ve linked to that page anywhere at any time and you delete it, you’ll cause a 404 error, which is something you don’t want. So what do you do? Create a 301 redirect. By creating a 301 redirect, you’re redirecting our website traffic to a new page. If you don’t want to deal with code, there are plugins available to help you!
- Yoast SEO (premium version): Not only does this plugin help you with your SEO, but it also helps with redirects. When you delete a page or change a URL, this plugin will ask if there needs to be a redirect. How’s that for making sure you don’t miss anything?!
- Simple 301 redirects
Knowing why you are creating pages on your website and having a strategy around them will help you and your website be more focused and assist in helping to attract those clients you want to work with!
So, when is the last time you cleaned up the pages on your website?